Aberfeldie Primary School in the northwestern region of Victoria, has a diverse group of students from varied socio-economic backgrounds, including many who speak English as a second language.
Lachlan Ferguson, teacher for Years 5 and 6, says: “We chose LiteracyPlanet as a way to easily expand our literacy learning and teaching areas, especially to assist with homework throughout the grade levels. It is a varied program that is usable by all year levels and it is great for differentiation of homework and classwork”.
The school uses e-learning and digital technologies for all areas of the curriculum as an important part of its integrated teaching approach.
The school provides iPads and laptops for the junior school students, and has a 1:1 iPad program for Years 3-6. Programs used include Edmodo, Evernote, LiteracyPlanet, Mathletics, Scratch and Sphero robotics.
LiteracyPlanet is used across the whole school. In lower primary it is used more to explicitly teach specific skill areas and in the upper years it is used more for homework.
In Year 2 it is a key resource for reading groups. The program shows how to determine the reading level of students, and each group is given a different LiteracyPlanet text to read through and completes activities related to their text.
“It assists our literacy outcomes through our lower years reading groups. The students are split into groups related to their learning needs which can be monitored by the teachers," says Mr Ferguson.
In Years 3 and 4 the focus shifts to the grammar content. Teachers are able to assign homework related to the weekly set learning goal, and linked to the program’s grammar exercises. This also helps the younger students to understand why homework is important and how to set learning goals.
In Years 5 and 6 teachers use the program to improve literacy outcomes with homework, and as a resource for questioning, inference, reorganisation and evaluation. The program’s texts allow students to choose what they want to read and learn about, whilst also having explicit focus on these strategies.
Mr Ferguson says: “LiteracyPlanet assists our learning outcomes through giving students more choice in the direction they would like to follow in their learning, thereby allowing them to choose areas they are not as strong in and focus on these".
LiteracyPlanet also provides teachers with tools for how to reward students and how to motivate students to do their best. When it is more challenging to engage a student in learning, teachers use the incentive of access to LiteracyPlanet for completing goals in different work sessions. Mr Ferguson says teacher also take advantage of the gamified elements of the program like the competitive leaderboards: “Teachers really enjoy the leaderboard as they can use this to help give students an extra incentive on beating other students as well as other grades”.
Victorian Government primary school.
F-6 for reading, grammar, spelling, homework and differentiation.
A varied program suitable for all year levels, and excellent for differentiation and homework.
LiteracyPlanet is great for differentiation as students can be split into groups related to their point of need. I can monitor each student and change their direction if required. Another useful aspect of LiteracyPlanet is that it’s accessible on iPads, so students don’t need to get laptops out to do their work."
Lachlan Ferguson, Teacher
"It’s really easy to do my homework on LiteracyPlanet and I don’t have to take any paper home."
Zara, Year 2.
"I love being able to do fun activities with different words and readings. It makes work more fun when I can pretend I’m playing a game even though I’m learning about spelling."